06/07/04 — Travel and Tourism numbers climbing

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Travel and Tourism numbers climbing

By Barbara Arntsen
Published in News on June 7, 2004 1:59 PM

Interest in Wayne County as a tourist destination continues to climb, according to the latest figures from the city's Travel & Tourism Department.

More than 1,400 people contacted Travel & Tourism in May, an increase of 460 percent from the same period last year.

The increased interest is a result of the right kind of exposure, and good advertising, says Travel & Tourism Director Marlise Taylor.

Mrs. Taylor monitors monthly the number of people who contact her office expressing an interest in visiting, or getting more information, about Wayne County. Those inquiries come via mail, e-mail and phone.

The department has worked hard at getting the most for its advertising money, she said. It was able to get a $3,100 grant from the state tourism department for an ad in Southern Living magazine. That meant the department had to pay only $1,000.

Goldsboro and Wayne County were also featured in the March issue of Our State magazine. The 5 1/2-page story, with color photographs of the area, covered the historical and recreational aspects of Wayne County.

In addition to coverage in those two magazines, the Travel & Tourism Department also advertised in the 2004 state travel guide and is advertising on a billboard on Interstate 95.

The billboard, which is in Johnston Count, can be seen by north-bound travelers. Mrs. Taylor hopes to get another one up next year, to catch travelers heading south.

She's working with hotel operators to put together packages with area attractions and restaurants, as another way to bring tourist dollars to the county.

"With gas prices the way they are, we're telling people they can visit someplace close to home," she said.

Mayor Al King said Travel & Tourism Department was doing a "tremendous job."

"You're doing great things for Goldsboro and Wayne County," King said. "This department is very valuable to our community."